Ogun Customs makes mind boggling seizures despite COVID-19
*Intercepts 7 SUVs with smuggled rice
By Silas Onuoha:
Despite the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic slowing down economic activities in the country, Ogun 1 Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service has recorded mind boggling seizures in the first quarter of 2020.
Through intelligence, the Command Special Taskforce intercepted nine vehicles, (7 SUVs Nissan Pathfinder and 2 Mazda) fully loaded with smuggled parboiled rice.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC), of the Command, Comptroller Michael Agbara, made this known during a press conference today.
He also disclosed that the Command in first quarter of 2020 collected N37.8million revenue.
The CAC informed, “We remain resolute and committed in ensuring that our critical functions of implementing Federal Government Policies geared towards safety and well-being of the populace remain unabated.
“It will interest you to know from 1st January to 31st March, 2020, we generated a total revenue of NN37.8million, from direct auction of seized 293,015 litres of PMS, 625 litres of Diesel and 19 Jerrycans of kerosene (25kg each)”.
“All the aforementioned seizures of petroleum products were meant for illegal exportation in defiance to extant Federal Government policies.
“It is important to note that all items imported into Nigeria for home use are not permitted to be exported (see schedule 6 of ECOWAS Common External Tariff).”
According to him, the Command recorded 607 seizures in first quarter of 2020, compared to 226 seizures realised the same period in 2019.
Similarly, the Command during the same period under review seized 225 units of vehicles, compared to 83 vehicles intercepted in 2019. Also,
14,951 bags of rice were seized in first quarter of 2020, compared to 12,720 bags intercepted the same period in 2019.
On working collaboration, he explained, “In the spirit of interagency cooperation, the Command intercepted 176 sacks, 1, 790 Parcels, 80 compressed books packs 28 compressed coconut packs and 4 wraps of cannabis sativa (Indian Hemp).
“The said items were seized by Officers and Men of the Command at different locations along the border areas in Ogun state and handed over to the appropriate agency.
“Furthermore, the Command Special Taskforce, intercepted nine vehicles (7 SUVs Nissan Pathfinder and 2 Mazda) fully loaded with smuggled parboiled rice. It is important to bring to the notice of the public that during the lockdown, some dare-devil smugglers ingeniously explored the difficult terrain with SUV vehicles to convey smuggled items into the country. The proactive activities of Officers and Men in Command led to remarkable seizures of such categories of vehicles conveying smuggled items.
“As a responsive and responsible Service, we remain resolute and focused in making sure that economic saboteurs are brought to their knees.
“The Command wishes to commend the synergy existing between its personnel and Officers of Operation Ex-Swift Response (OSR), FOU Zone ‘A’, CGC Strike Force, Sister Agencies and other stakeholders.
I wish to once again reiterate our resolve to continue rendering our service to the public with utmost patriotism and commitment.
” It is our prayers and enthusiasm that the world will overcome this pandemic (COVID-19) and bounce back towards the path of good health and economic well-being.”